Flower gardens make an elegant addition to any yard, drawing attention and adding value. While maintaining such gardens requires some work and dedication, the rewards can be great.
Petunias and geraniums provide fast-blooming color in one season. Add perennials for long-blooming beauty that requires less maintenance; bee-friendly plants will attract bee pollinators too!
Preparing the Site
Flower gardening is an enjoyable hobby that allows you to express your creativity while adding beauty and fragrance to your yard. As a newcomer to gardening, it is important to gain knowledge about different species of blooms as well as their care needs before beginning planting.
Once you have selected a location for your flower garden, clear away weeds and grass before loosening the soil by working up the top 6-8 inches of your planting bed. This will promote healthy root development while creating more favorable conditions for flowers to flourish in.
Prior to selecting flowers, it’s also essential that you understand your climate zone. Your local nursery can assist in selecting plants which will thrive in your region. Different flowers require various levels of care such as daily watering and fertilization – some reaching full maturity within one growing season while perennials return year after year without additional planting labor required.
Selecting the Plants
Flower gardens can be filled with bright and fragrant plants that attract pollinators. Before beginning to plant your own, identify which types of flowers pique your interest and conduct some research – this should include factors like flower sizes, bloom times, year-round interest and color combinations as well as texture considerations.
No matter if you are starting from seeds or purchasing established plants, be mindful of their overall size when making decisions for your garden bed. Doing this will ensure you avoid overcrowding it and losing space!
For an easy and quick garden, opt for annuals such as petunias or geraniums; their bright blooms will last all summer long. To add structure and height, perennials like lilies or peonies may provide more structure; their blooms come back year after year! Don’t forget about factoring sun/shade requirements of each plant as you select what will work in your yard; the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can assist with that decision as well. Also keep frost season in mind as first/last frost dates can help determine when safe plantings occur in your garden!
Preparing the Soil
Flower garden plants thrive best when grown in rich, fertile soil. Before you plant anything in your garden, add all-purpose balanced fertilizer and an organic matter layer – this will greatly enhance its quality. Be sure to work this material into the top 6-8 inches of dirt where most flower and shrub roots reside.
Avoid working the soil when it is overly wet as this will damage its structure and lead to compaction. For existing beds, remove large clumps of grass by raking and digging to a depth of 12-18 inches for best results or use a rototiller to break up existing soil layers.
Your ideal flower garden should provide four-season color, from blooms that come into bloom from spring through fall as well as those providing winter interest. Make use of flowering shrubs and perennials with repeat blooming patterns as structural height; add floral varieties with diverse colors, textures and forms; repeating certain shapes or colors throughout planting provides continuity.
Do your research, take photos of flowers that inspire you, and put together an inspiration board in order to come up with an ideal planting scheme. Once that is in place, plan out each bed in terms of height, color and texture in relation to how it will interact during different seasons.
Once you’re ready to plant, start by clearing away existing grass from your chosen area. If you’re creating new beds, consider installing rectangles of flagstone around their perimeter to protect blooms from being trodden upon by lawn mower blades and water them effectively without disrupting or damaging stems and leaves. It may also be beneficial to have easy access to garden hoses to water the blooms without disturbing or disrupting them in any way.
As soon as it’s time to dig, start by digging holes that are the same depth and slightly wider than where your plants were in their containers. After finishing digging, cover the hole with mulch or compost to retain soil moisture and inhibit weed growth.